Modern Software Platforms Are In Hypergrowth

Michael Yamnitsky

As companies get serious about digital transformation, we see investments shifting toward extensible software platforms used to build and manage a differentiated customer experience. My colleague John McCarthy has an excellent slide describing what's happening:

Before, tech management spent most of its time and budget managing a set of monolithic enterprise applications and databases. With an addressable market of a finite number of networked PCs, spending on the front end was largely an afterthought.

Today, applications must scale to millions, if not billions of connected devices while retaining a rich and seamless user experience. Infrastructure, in turn, must flex to meet these new specs. Since complete overhauls of the back end are a nonstarter for large enterprises with 30-plus years of investments in mainframes and legacy server systems, new investments gear toward the intermediary software platforms that connect digital touchpoints with enterprise applications and transaction systems. 

At Forrester, we’ve been working to quantify some of the most viable software categories that exemplify this shift. A shortlist below:

·      API management solutions: US CAGR 2015-2020: 22%.

·      Public cloud platformsGlobal CAGR 2015-2020: 30%. (Note: We have a forecast update in the works that segments the market into subcategories.)

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Saying CX Is A Priority Is Easy. Following Through On It Is Tough.

Kyle McNabb

Any executive can say they place great priority on customer experience (CX). In fact, 74% of executives state their top 2015 priority is improving CX. And if you’re a Forrester client, you know - thanks to our ongoing research - that doing so will drive greater customer acquisition and loyalty.

But saying CX is a priority is easy, making it actionable speaks volumes. Frankly, if your firm isn’t taking action to relentlessly pursue CX improvement, to become customer obsessed, you’re making a mistake.

Those actions give CIOs and their teams an incredible opportunity. Technology empowers your customers, members, clients, and buyers today. And your business leaders need you to expand beyond using technology to support or transform internal operations - what we call the IT agenda. Today, business leaders need your help to compete for customer loyalty. Today, business leaders need you and your teams to help them apply technology, systems,and process to win, serve, and retain customers- the business technology (BT) agenda.

Executing on the BT agenda gives you and your team the opportunity to make the biggest, most visible contribution to your firm I can think of - top line growth. Keep three things in mind as you strive to take advantage of this opportunity:

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Myth Or Reality: The Chief Data Officer

Heidi Shey

S&R pros, is there a Chief Data Officer (CDO) in your organization? Do you work with them? Previously, John and I wrote about the CDO role and how we believe that CDOs will help to drive security policy in the future because they can 1) directly tie business value to data assets, 2) have a deep understanding of data identity and purpose, and 3) possess a great incentive to protect the company’s data (it’s a strategic business asset after all!). Colleagues like Gene have also written about the CDO and the importance of the CDO in data management.

The emergence of this role now brings about more questions than answers, and we’d like to provide more in-depth analysis and clarity around this topic. What is a CDO, and what do they do exactly? Is this a temporary role, or a critical C-level position that is here to stay? Why should we even care about this CDO role? These and other questions are ones that a team of analysts from Forrester are exploring in upcoming joint research, and we’d love to hear from you if you are a CDO, currently work with one, or don’t feel there is a need for a CDO because there are other roles in your organization are responsible for data strategy. Some of the key themes we are looking into include:

  • The responsibilities of the CDO role
  • Where CDOs reside in firms’ organizational structure
  • How CDOs help their firms win, retain, and serve their customers
  • Common benefits and challenges faced by CDOs
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An Approach To Converge The Worlds of Big Data And BI

Boris Evelson

Webster dictionary defines a synonym as "a word having the same or nearly the same meaning" or as "a word or expression accepted as another name for something." This is so true for popular definitions of BI and big data. Forrester defines BI as:

 

A set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making.
 
While BI has been a thriving market for decades and will continue to flourish for the foreseeable future, the world doesn't stand still and:
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The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q1 2015

Boris Evelson

The majority of large organizations have either already shifted away from using BI as just another back-office process and toward competing on BI-enabled information or are in the process of doing so. Businesses can no longer compete just on the cost, margins, or quality of their products and services in an increasingly commoditized global economy. Two kinds of companies will ultimately be more successful, prosperous, and profitable:

  • More and deeper insights will generate competitive advantage. Companies with richer, more accurate information about their customers and products than their competitors will gain substantial competitive advantage.
  • Faster access to insights will make companies more agile. Companies that have the same quality of information as their competitors but get it sooner and can turn it into action faster will outpace their peers.
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The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Large Organizations, Q1 2015

Kate Leggett

The CRM market serving the large enterprise is mature. A great amount of consolidation has happened in the last five years. For example, Oracle, focused on providing consistent end-to-end customer experiences across touchpoints, has acquired a great number of point solutions to round out its customer experience portfolio. SAP, like Oracle, aims to provide consistent end-to-end customer experiences via its breadth of products and has also made a few key acquisitions. Similarly, Salesforce has made a series of moves to round out the Service Cloud. It has used this same tactic to broaden its CRM footprint with the notable acquisition of ExactTarget for business-to-company (B2C) marketing automation (2013).

The large CRM vendors increasingly offer broader and deeper capabilities which bloat their footprint and increase their complexity with features that many users can't leverage. At the same time, new point solution vendors are popping up at an unprecedented rate and are delivering modern interfaces and mobile-first strategies that address specific business problems such as sales performance management, lead to revenue management, and digital customer experience.

The breadth and depth of CRM capabilities available from vendor solutions makes it increasingly challenging to be confident of your technology choice. In the Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Large Organizations, Q1 2015, we pinpoint the strengths of leading vendors that offer solutions suitable for large and very large CRM teams. Here are some of our key findings:

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Microsoft Azure In China

Charlie Dai

Have you seen the movie Birdman — the one that just won the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars? It’s about a middle-aged man who was once a popular movie star but has been criticized throughout his career and how he finally achieved a breakthrough performance and found great success in a Broadway production of the play What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

The story of Microsoft Azure is similar. Microsoft was hugely popular in the age of the PC but has sailed into troubled waters in the cloud era. But now — a year after Azure’s commercial launch in China — CIOs and EA professionals must understand how and where Azure might impact their existing MSFT technology investments to achieve business transformation. Azure is one of the leading forces driving cloud adoption in China. We attribute this to the progress that Microsoft has made by:

  • Expanding product offerings.Microsoft Azure now has local products in four key categories: compute, network, data, and application. Beyond basic components like virtual machines, websites, storage, and content delivery networks, Azure also has advanced features that are important for Chinese customers to address their unique challenges, including mobile services for the rapid development of mobile apps to accommodate the massive shift to mobile; a service bus for integration to eliminate information silos in the cloud; and HDInsight for big data capabilities to gain the customer insights necessary to compete with digital disruption from local Internet companies.
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Lexmark Acquires Kofax- Becomes A Major Force To Help Companies Digitize Operational Processes

Craig Le Clair

This latest Lexmark move is harder to assess than previous major acquisitions. Give  the Perceptive acquisition an  A, Brainware  a B -,  and Pallas maybe a  C+. The Kofax merger, on the other hand, has two legitimate views and lets start with the positive. Kofax has indeed assembled a range of complimentary components that fit well with Lexmark's market ambition. The key asset of interest is the TotalAgility (KTA) platform and its related components. These enhance Lexmark's process platform that was based on the Pallas, too low a market share and Perceptive’s document-focused workflow. KTA, by contrast,  has a true case platform and is well integrated with the industry-leading capture platform. Kofax has never had been in the ECM space. They are now with one of the strongest. And the list goes on. Brainware will boost forms processing for Kofax' invoice processing customers. The AltoSoft BI tool adds analytics strength that Lexmark did not have. Data integration is improved with Kapow. A top E-Signature product (Softpro) and a growing CCM platform from AiA are all good pickups. These last two fit well with Lexmark’s transitioning MPS business.

The drawback here is that Kofax’s go to market positioning and execution is nowhere near complete, and needs entrepreneurial energy and execution to get there. Perhaps Lexmark can help - but Kofax will now be part of a larger company that has transition issues of its own. Perhaps more importantly, Lexmark may find itself devoting significant investment dollars to purchase a legacy document capture business that has moderate long term value. We estimate around $200m of Kofax’ current business derives from this market with revenue in this area more likely to decline then accelerate. Lexmark would then find itself devoting a lot of management attention to minimizing the impact of that decline.

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Analyst Spotlight Podcast With Merritt Maxim

Stephanie Balaouras
This month’s S&R Analyst Spotlight Podcast features a slight change to our usual program: we have a guest host! Chris McClean, our San Francisco-based Research Director, interviewed the newest addition to our analyst team, Merritt Maxim. Merritt’s coverage areas include identity and access management, access governance, federation, authentication, and role design and management. In our podcast, Maxim tells us about his career before Forrester, his planned coverage area and his current must-read book on security. 
 
These Analyst Spotlights are all included in S&R’s First Look newsletters. Email srfl@forrester.com to be added to the list!
 
To download the mp3 version of the podcast, click here.
 

Merritt Maxim Image

 

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Samsung Commits To The Business Segment At CeBIT 2015 With IoT Solutions

Dan Bieler

Samsung launched its business offerings at CeBIT 2015. Samsung Business is a new brand and combines Samsung’s Knox for security and enterprise mobility management, Smart Signage, and printing. Samsung Business offers industry-specific solutions for retail, education, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, and financial services.

In retail, Samsung offers digital mirror and video wall devices. School Solution integrates its mobile devices with interactive learning tools. Its Smart Hotel Solution offers premium in-room experience and information bulletin touchscreens. The Preventive Mobile Cardiac Rehabilitation solution enables real-time monitoring of chronic conditions. For financial services, Samsung provides secure document handling and printing services. And its transportation solution provides real-time information and analysis of data. My main takeaways:

  • Samsung Business is a good first step toward catering to businesses. Samsung has enormous potential to leverage its existing consumer device expertise and experiences, especially in the B2B2C space. Samsung is right to opt for an open and collaborative Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem to overcome the challenges of platform compatibility, data analysis, and security. Samsung has a long track record in focusing on user experience. This should help it deliver high-quality and intuitive-to-use business solutions.
  • Samsung’s sector solutions are still rather basic. At this stage, Samsung is right to focus on a handful of offerings that it is familiar with and can deliver with high quality. However, Samsung will need to drill down deeper into business processes and business models to become successful in the emerging world of IoT longer term.
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